Category Archives: 19th Century

Review of ” Waterloo: Great Battles Series” by Alan Forrest

Concise overview of Waterloo, but more about its aftermath.

Alan Forrest is a Professor of Modern History at the University of York, UK. He has published widely on French revolutionary and Napoleonic history, especially on social history and on the military and is the author of a biography of Napoleon.

It feels as though he’s put together his undoubtedly extensive lecture notes to take advantage of the 200th anniversary of the battle and the associated interest but with a different slant to most by looking at the memory rather than the event.

If you are looking for an extensive book on Waterloo you will be disappointed. However if you are looking for knowledge as to how the battle has been remembered by the victors, the vanquished and elsewhere then this will be an interesting read.

Particularly interesting how the Germans view Waterloo as they consider the Battle of the Nations at Leipzig as the decisive battle, with Waterloo no more than a historical aside.

Not a great read, but a useful insight into the memory of Waterloo as a propaganda tool and an icon of British military prowess (according to Wellington who airbrushes the Germans out of his later accounts…)

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Review of A History of War in 100 Battles by Richard Overy

A must have for your history library.

Overy is a historian of some reknown and certainly knows his stuff amply shown by his ability to explain succinctly the key aspects of battles from 331 BC to the 20th century.

I have treasured copy of Creasy’s 15 Decisive Battles written in
1851 and Overy has not tried to create an updated version. Instead he has intelligently segmented the battles into five decisive factors that delivered victory to one of the sides.

Overy distills the essence of those battles into a few pages and as
such to the military history purist this book may seem too lightweight, however I do consider myself a military history purist and this book fired interest for me in historical periods that I would never have touched previously.

For those who are less hardcore this book provides a great intro into the great battles of history and should fire their interest into the fascinating genre of military history.

A must have for your history library military or otherwise.